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Iowa vs. Rutgers Predictions, Odds


  • January 2, 2020
  • By Thom Cunningham

In what should be an excellent Big Ten matchup, the No. 10 Iowa Hawkeyes travel to New Jersey and face the No. 14 Rutgers Scarlet Knights. This is the first top-15 meeting between the schools, airing at 2:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.



Iowa-Rutgers Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: Iowa -3
  • Money-Line: TBD
  • Total: 158.5

Odds Subject to Change

What a difficult game to wager on, evident by the -3-point spread favoring Iowa. Iowa has done a much better job covering the ATS, doing so in seven of 10 games this season. Rutgers has only covered four games so far, failing to cover three and pushing a fourth.

The point total is set at 158.5, as both clubs have high-powered offenses that usually go OVER this market. Iowa has gone OVER in eight of its last 10 games this season, while Rutgers has gone OVER in six of eight games.


Betting Analysis – Iowa Hawkeyes

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 8-2
  • ATS: 7-3
  • SU - Home: 8-0
  • SU - Away: 0-2
  • O/U: 8-2

Nothing changes with this Iowa team, they score a lot of points but don't play defense. Not that it matters, and actually adds conviction in bettors who fancy the OVER market for Iowa. This offense ranks third nationally in points per game, averaging well over 90 with an efficiency rating of 126.4 (third nationally).

Luka Garza is well on his way to winning the Wooden Award, averaging a double-double. Joe Wieskamp is the secondary scorer on this team, but Iowa showed just how dangerous it is when Jordan Bohannon is hitting his three's.

The question for Iowa becomes whether or not they can beat good teams away from Iowa City. So far, no. Iowa's only two losses happen to also be it's only two road games of the season. Iowa now faces a very athletic and very deep Rutgers team, who plays very well at home. Iowa has checked all of the March Madness boxes, besides winning away from home.

Betting Analysis – Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

  • SU: 7-1
  • ATS: 4-3-1
  • SU - Home: 6-0
  • SU - Away: 1-1
  • O/U: 6-1-1

It's unclear if Wooden Award candidate Ron Harper, Jr. is going to play in this game. Even if he does play, how hurt is he after suffering an ankle injury against Purdue?

Harper's playing status should be the full focus for those betting this game. His impact is too important for a home game against one of the country's best offenses. Since we can't predict Harper's playing status, let's go with what we know.

Rutgers can score with Iowa, as the Scarlet Knights average about 80 points per game and now face a defense ranked 200th or worse overall. Even without Harper, Montez Mathis and Jacob Young average over 15 points per game. These two will need to step up if Harper misses any time.

Young is the leading passer for Rutgers too, so his playmaking ability and ball sharing is going to be crucial for a home win. Myles Johnson becomes the most important player for Rutgers, and is where Iowa will probably attack on offense.

Johnson must guard Luka Garza, which he is capable of. It will be difficult, but the 6'11" junior averages seven points and eight rebounds per game while providing length to match with Garza. Johnson is not as powerful or finesse as Garza, but does block 2.3 shots per game which can be utilized to slow the big Hawkeye.

Inside the Stats – Iowa Hawkeyes

  • PS/G: 94.3 (4th)
  • PA/G: 73.9 (251st)
  • Off Rtg: 126.4 (3rd)
  • Def Rtg: 99.1 (202nd)

Inside the Stats – Rutgers Scarlet Knights

  • PS/G: 80.6 (61st)
  • PA/G: 70.9 (188th)
  • Off Rtg: 112.6 (42nd)
  • Def Rtg: 99 (199th)

Key Players to Watch

  • IOWA - Luka Garza (27.7 PPG, 9.6 RPG)
  • IOWA - Joe Wieskamp (15.2 PPG, 6.7 RPG)
  • RUTG - Montez Mathis (15.6 PPG, 4 RPG)
  • RUTG - Jacob Young (15.5 PPG, 5.4 APG)

Iowa-Rutgers Predictions

It's insanely difficult not to take the OVER in this game. The question becomes whether you believe both teams will eclipse the 80-point mark. Why not? Neither defense is particularly stellar, while both offenses are some of the most prolific in the nation.

At 158.5, it's easy for the total to go UNDER. Iowa does struggle on the road as well, but they should still touch 80 while allowing a similar total. Rutgers getting +3 at home seems like a gift, as they should win outright. If Ron Harper Jr is playing and you have the courage, feel free to take Rutgers straight. They should cover with or without Harper, Jr. it seems, though.

  • Score Prediction: Iowa 88 Rutgers 87
  • Best Bets: OVER
  • Best Bets: Rutgers +3

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